The state of persisting in unusual postures or facial expressions, regardless of outside stimuli, as is seen in schizophrenia and some other diseases of the nervous system.
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A condition characterized by waxy rigidity of the limbs, which may be placed in various positions that are maintained for a time, lack of response to stimuli, mutism and inactivity; occurs with some psychoses, especially catatonic schizophrenia. [G. katalepsis, a seizing, c., fr. kata, down, + lepsis, a seizure]

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cat·a·lep·sy 'kat-əl-.ep-sē n, pl -sies a condition of suspended animation and loss of voluntary motion associated with hysteria and schizophrenia in humans and with organic nervous disease in animals and characterized by a trancelike state of consciousness and a posture in which the limbs hold any position they are placed in compare WAXY FLEXIBILITY

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the abnormal maintenance of postures or physical attitudes, occurring in catatonia. These may have arisen spontaneously or they may be induced by the examiner.

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cat·a·lep·sy (katґə-lep″se) [Gr. katalēpsis] indefinitely prolonged maintenance of a fixed body posture; seen in severe cases of catatonic schizophrenia. The term is sometimes used to denote cerea flexibilitas.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Catalepsy — Cat a*lep sy, ||Catalepsis Cat a*lep sis, n. [NL. catalepsis, fr. Gr. ? a seizure, fr. ? to seize upon; kata down + ? to take, seize.] (Med.) A sudden suspension of sensation and volition, the body and limbs preserving the position that may be… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • catalepsy — (n.) late 14c., cathalempsia, from M.L. catalepsia, from Gk. katalepsis a seizure, a seizing upon, a taking possession, from kataleptos seized, from katalambanein to seize upon, from kata down (see CATA (Cf. cata )) + lambanein to take (see …   Etymology dictionary

  • catalepsy — ► NOUN ▪ a medical condition in which a person suffers a trance or seizure with a loss of sensation and consciousness accompanied by rigidity of the body. DERIVATIVES cataleptic adjective & noun. ORIGIN Greek katal psis, from katalambanein seize… …   English terms dictionary

  • catalepsy — [kat′ə lep΄sē] n. [LL catalepsis < Gr katalēpsis, a seizing, grasping < katalambanein < kata , down + lambanein, to take, seize: for IE base see LATCH] a condition in which consciousness and feeling seem to be temporarily lost, and the… …   English World dictionary

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  • catalepsy — noun (plural sies) Etymology: Middle English catalempsi, from Medieval Latin catalepsia, from Late Latin catalepsis, from Greek katalēpsis, literally, act of seizing, from katalambanein to seize, from kata + lambanein to take more at latch Date:… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • catalepsy — cataleptic, adj., n. cataleptically, adv. /kat l ep see/, n. Pathol., Psychiatry. a physical condition usually associated with catatonic schizophrenia, characterized by suspension of sensation, muscular rigidity, fixity of posture, and often by… …   Universalium

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